Elderly woman in critical condition – after previously campaigning for safe crossing in area


The junction of Woodstock Road and Osberton Road, where the incident is reported to have taken place, and inset Dr Shirley Pike
The junction of Woodstock Road and Osberton Road, where the incident is reported to have taken place, and inset Dr Shirley Pike

A LEADING academic is in a critical condition in hospital after being hit by a van – close to where she and other elderly residents had previously campaigned for a safe crossing.

Dr Shirley Pike was hit by the grey Ford Transit van on Thursday evening, with family members told to ‘expect the worst’.

Dr Pike and other residents at Charles Ponsonby House, off Woodstock Road, have written to Oxfordshire County Council in recent years, pleading for improved road safety in the area.

The 89-year-old was reportedly attempting to cross Woodstock Road from Osberton Road, where Charles Ponsonby House – which consists of 34 one-bedroom retirement apartments – is situated.

Family and friends told the Oxford Mail she is now in a critical condition at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Dr Pike is the author of Marxism and Phenomenology, which was first published in 1986.

The book ‘explores the possibilities and difficulties of synthesising two apparently disparate philosophical frameworks’.

Oxford Mail: The junction of Woodstock Road and Osberton Road, where the incident is reported to have taken place
Oxford Mail: The junction of Woodstock Road and Osberton Road, where the incident is reported to have taken place

The junction of Woodstock Road and Osberton Road, where the incident is reported to have taken place

From the John Radcliffe Hospital, Dr Pike’s son, Justin, told this newspaper that his mother had broken her pelvis and several ribs, while her liver was also damaged in the incident.

Although bleeding to the brain doesn’t currently need operating on, damage to Dr Pike’s lungs is what is concerning doctors most.

“I don’t know what’s happened fully yet, but we’ve been told to expect the worst,” said Mr Pike.

“A nurse was luckily at the scene so she was able to quickly do instant CPR.”

On his mother raising road safety concerns with the county council, Mr Pike added: “She sent a letter to the council but obviously we don’t know if it went any further than that.

“There’s a high concentration of old people in that area.”

Oxford Mail: Charles Ponsonby House in Osberton Road
Oxford Mail: Charles Ponsonby House in Osberton Road

Charles Ponsonby House in Osberton Road

Keith Sunderland, a friend of Dr Pike for 30 years, said the academic had written to the council to get a ‘proper crossing’ in place so that residents of Charles Ponsonby House could cross safely.

“I’ve been a friend for a long time, and she’s 90 this month,” he said.

“She campaigned for a crossing. It’s exactly the same area where it happened, she was very cautious of the road and was always very careful when crossing that part of the road.

“She was a great campaigner for the residents.

“We’re all very upset by it, things look very bleak.”

Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses to the incident, which happened at about 7.45pm.

PC Julia Stroud, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit at Bicester police station, said: “We are appealing for any witnesses to this incident to please come forward.

“We’d also ask anyone with dash cams and who was in the area around the time of this incident to please check any footage in case it may have captured something that could assist with our investigation.

“Anyone with information can contact us on 101 or via our website, quoting reference 43220347166.”

A spokesperson for the county council said: “The county council monitors accident statistics on all roads in Oxfordshire and it is important to establish the cause of each accident.”

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